Keeneland, with a $1-million commitment from Central Kentucky horseman Bill Casner and his wife, Susan, and in partnership with the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and Thoroughbred Charities of America, will accept donations during the Sept. 12-26 yearling sale to help victims of Hurricane Katrina.Casner, the new TOBA chairman and co-owner of WinStar Farm near Versailles, Ky., and his wife have made a commitment to match up to $1 million raised during the September sale."Keeneland's September yearling sale is the logical place to host an initiative like this," Casner said in a Sept. 6 release. "It gives members of the Thoroughbred industry, who are anxious to assist, a vehicle for their contributions. It is imperative that we as an industry unite in support of the recovery and rebuilding of those lives that have been devastated by this disaster.""We commend Bill and Susan Casner for taking a leadership role in this effort to aid the victims of this terrible disaster," Keeneland president Nick Nicholson said.Donations may be brought to the sales counter in the pavilion during the sale or mailed to the Keeneland Foundation, P.O. Box 1690, Lexington, Ky., 40588-1690, attention Fran Taylor. Donations also will be accepted at the TOBA National Awards Dinner, which will be held Sept. 9 at the Kentucky Horse Park.Donations are tax deductible, and 100% of the proceeds will be distributed to designated non-profit agencies recognized for their high program/administrative expense ratio, as well as their ability to quickly and efficiently mobilize resources, specifically food, shelter, and medical care. A significant portion of the donations will be designated to assist hurricane victims who work in the Thoroughbred industry.
Keeneland previously coordinated disaster relief fund-raising efforts following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States in 2001 and the Asian Tsunami disaster in 2004.